Sex and the City 2
Written and Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis and Cynthia Nixon

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Directed by Mike Newell
Screenplay by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Artertron, Sir Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina

At first glance, this weekend’s two major studio releases would appear to have little in common beyond the fact that they each take place in the Middle Eastern desert.  When you watch them back-to-back as I did though, it’s clear that they share more than a setting; both Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time are this summer’s prime examples of blockbuster moviemaking at its most creatively bankrupt, big-budget behemoths that prize fantasy excess above all else, including a well-told story, compelling characters and recognizable human emotions and behavior.